Harris Co. announces 'March Madness' DWI crackdown

March 13, 2009 7:58:56 AM PDT
Harris County deputies will be out in force, looking for drunk drivers the rest of this month. [SIGN UP: Get headlines and breaking news sent to you]

District Attorney Pat Lykos has announced the first 'March Madness' anti-DWI crackdown for the remainder of March, in which law enforcement will be on the lookout for the potential drinking associated with Spring Break, the NCAA basketball tournament and other festivities.

Prosecutors and area law enforcement patrols will be using the "No Refusal" program to target widely varying sections of Harris County on Friday and Saturday nights. They be able to get expedited court warrants which would authorize sobriety tests for suspects who decline voluntary breath or blood testing.

"Impaired drivers are going to find out you can't 'beat' a DWI by refusing to be tested," explained prosecutor Brent Mayr, head of the DA's Vehicular Crimes Section. "These March events attract young motorists, and some of them are likely to make the irresponsible decision to drink and drive."

National statistics show that people ranging in age from 21 to 34 years old accounted for almost 40 percent of alcohol-related driving deaths in 2007. Of drivers between 15 and 20 years old who died in 2006 crashes nationally, 25 percent had blood-alcohol levels of .08 or higher.

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